HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The attack on Israel by the terrorist group Hamas has sent shockwaves across the world — including in the Richmond area.   

Following the Israeli Prime Minister’s formal declaration of war, hundreds gathered at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center in western Henrico County Monday night to stand in solidarity with Israel during this tragic time for the Jewish Community.

“I want the world to know what we are going through and I want all of the 180 people [to] come back home safe,” Natali Bonnie, who attended the event, said. “I have two friends that are missing that no one [knows] what’s going on with them.”

On Saturday, the terrorist group Hamas fired rockets into Israeli territory, killing hundreds and taking even more hostage. In the wake of the tragedy, the Jewish Federation of Richmond, along with local synagogues and organizations, came together and held a gathering of love and support on Monday night.  

“This attack against Israeli civilians is incomparable and unprecedented, and the magnitude of this tragedy is still unknown. Not since the Holocaust have so many Jews been murdered on one day,” Daniel Staffenberg, the CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, said during the event.

Israel formally declared war against Hamas on Sunday. The Palestinian Ministry of Health is now citing a death count of at least 600 in the wake of Israel’s response to the terror attacks over the weekend.   

As this conflict unfolds in the Middle East, halfway across the world in a room filled with prayer on Monday night, people stood together in solidarity for their beloved country that’s currently being torn apart by war.

“I can’t sleep, I can’t think about anything, it’s just crazy,” Bonnie said. “We need to help them. We need to help Israel, we need to stand for Israel.”